Rick Owens pits the Samurai with wedding cake

THOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Avant-garde romantic Rick Owens is always full of surprises.

This fall-winter 2013-14, it came in the form of what Owens called "wedding cake" stitching alongside billowing-sleeved Samurai silhouettes, and models with wild, Wagnerian hair.

The Gothic edge to much of Owen's bichrome repertoire should not fool anyone: What he does is always genuinely subtle.

Here in Paris, there were plays on form and proportion.

Oversize white tunics and black fabric layers seem haphazard -- but were in fact delivered delicately, with soft architecture: the first look's white hanging robe frames the sectioned, column silhouette.

Elsewhere, collars -- like flaccid marzipan in celebratory cakes -- unfurled down from the neck; while a few white stitches, that he used sparingly, succeeded in dominating and defining whole looks in black.

And only someone as talented as Owens can make duffel coats beautiful -- seen here, at the warehouse show, with oversize toggles that hung like shells with dynamic movement.

"This collection was a celebration of some of my favorite things," Owens said.

By the applause he got, it seems he's not alone.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP